pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
78,100 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. replacing drivers side brake caliper (5 reports)
  3. flushed fluid with synthetic dot 4 (1 reports)
  4. install drilled & slotted rotors with ceramic brake pads (1 reports)
  5. rear well locking up (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Dakota brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Jul 152015

Dakota Slt 4x4 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles


We have taken this truck to four different mechanics and the Dodge dealer to replace ABS sensor, replaced rotors, drums, pads wheel cylinders several times, even had drums turned to match pads and yes even replaced the master cylinder and all hardware. I replaced them myself once. (the right rear wheel locks up) IT IS DANGEROUS when you have to make a quick stop (it skids, locking up) I bought this truck and have had this problem ever since. The person who sold it to me moved or I would take it back to them. It's not a bad truck other than the BRAKES. I sure hope no one gets hurt because of this DODGE CORP. YOU NEED TO FIX THIS PROBLEM-IT'S YOURS.

- GaryandWendi L., Prescott, AZ, US

problem #22

Jun 052017

Dakota Extended Cab V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 245,500 miles

I to have a 2002 Dakota. Driver brake locked up in a national park 2005 where it was brake and go. Brakes released following morning and had brakes replaced. Driver side brake locked up again in 2016 in Atlanta stop and go traffic. Brakes replaced. After each inspection no issues were identified or duplicate the problem. Again 2017 driver side brake locked up in national park in stop and go driving. Morning, brake released. It seems that the brake does not like the stop and go business in short periods of time. Not going to replace brakes again at this time. It seems that the brake lines may need to be replaced up front and get another vehicle. Always the driver side of the car.

- franzd, Creedmoor, US

problem #21

Nov 052006

Dakota 3.2L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I have the same problem as others. The front brakes lock up randomly. Once the problems starts again, it is frequent and severe. The first time was at 38000 miles. Replaced both calipers, pads, rotors. I blamed the mechanic for not fixing it correctly (that wasn't the case). At approximately 68000 miles it happened again. The brakes completely locked on the front right. I was pulling my boat and luckily had a place to pull over to wait for them to cool before I could move. Took it to the dealer and they said there was no history of that. Bull.....the dealer charged me double and did the same work, both calipers, pads, rotors, brake line flush. This time it was $1000. Now it is the third time, the truck only has 89000 miles. I am waiting for the call from the mechanic (third one). I am expecting the same work and bill. Chrysler obviously knows about this. If anyone hears about a class action lawsuit, count me in.

- Chester M., Yacolt, WA, US

problem #20

Aug 292013

Dakota Sport 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,345 miles


We are having the same problem as all of you folks. Front brakes locking up we take very good care of this vehicle and only have 35,345 miles on it. Has anyone found the answer to this problem? This has happened 5 times since the truck was ordered with our own specifications in 2001. The rotors, calipers, pads and hoses have been replaced each time without solving the problem. We all need a RECALL from chrysler on this complaint. Their answer is the truck is too old so they will not take care of the problem. I am going to call the Federal Trade Commission, and the Attorney General. It is a recurring problem it shouldn't be swept under the carpet.

- Alma-Herb D., Mandeville, LA, US

problem #19

May 152012

Dakota Club Cab 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,233 miles

Second time in less than 10,000 miles this piece of crap has had a problem with the brakes locking up. First time I replace the calipers and pads. This time it was so bad that i had to turn rotors, replace pads and calipers.

- Tony H., Supply, NC, US

problem #18

Aug 142010

Dakota Club Cab 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,517 miles

After using the brakes at a stop light, the brakes remained partially locked on the front end. After pulling into a parking area and waiting for nearly two hours, the brakes cooled and the calipers returned to normal. After driving another 100 miles or so, the passenger brakes would lock up. Replace the pads and calipers.

- Tony H., Supply, NC, US

problem #17

Sep 252012

Dakota 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles


the rear wheel breaks are locking up and the abs system to working and the rear wheels locking up

replaced mater cylinder did not help, breed lines did not help new shoes and wheel cylinder did not help

- Rodney P., Sonora, KY, US

problem #16

May 132009

Dakota 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

The front brakes would lock up from heat when I was in hot weather and in traffic. If I pulled over fror about 10 mins. They would free up and I could drive away. There's always a fix for any problem. You just have to think about it and see what is available to fix it. I bought drilled & slotted front rotors and ceramic brake pads online. I have not had the problem since. I went through the entire summer without a problem! It cost me about $150.00 & took about 90 mins. I love this truck and will keep it as long as poss.

- Terrence L., Beachwood, NJ, US

problem #15

Nov 162011

Dakota SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I purchased the truck in 2003 and it first locked up around 15000 miles. The dealer fixed it under warranty. It happened again at 35000 again everything was replaced under warranty. Pad, rotor, calipers etc. at 43000 the brakes got smoking hot. I had a mechanic change the brake lines and flush the system. I only go short distances now because at 20 to 25 miles I feel the wheels and they're starting to heat up. This now happens on a regular basis. I don't mind spending the money to fix the problem I just wont to know what the problem is. Somewhere in this forum the statement was made that changing the brake lines solved the problem. Well It didn't. I just checked with NHTSA (1-888-327-4236) and there is no investigation currently on this problem. From the severity of the complaints I've seen on this forum and others I don't know what it will take to get one going. We've all had this problem with our vehicles and I guess like Berny Madoff If there's enough money involved thing get pushed under the table.

- Henry H., Huntingtown, MD, US

problem #14

Nov 252011

Dakota SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,200 miles

Same day I bought this truck, thought the tranny was going out, but turns out front brakes locked up, then must have got so hot, that a brake line blew and lost all the brake fluid. Had to have the truck towed to the shop where it sits right now. Bad thing is the truck has 44k mi on it, bought as is from a dealer. Chrysler DEFINITELY NEEDS TO RECALL THIS PROBLEM!!

- Vince H., Zeeland, MI, US

problem #13

Jun 162010

Dakota Sport V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,076 miles


I have replaced Brakes 2x since purchasing. It go thought Brakes rather fast for a small truck. Brakes lock up often.. I see other on this page have the same problem. Wish we had a Recall on this .. Slick roads and forget it. your in the rear end of someone else.

- huskerswon, West Plains, MO, US

problem #12

Oct 092009

Dakota 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,416 miles

I own a Dodge Dakota 4.7l v8 2002 The first time the front driver side lock up and caught on fire,Miles were 64,000.The second time both front brakes locked up miles 74,000 miles ,we also replace many brakes on our truck. WE think we found the problem to this, its the ABS unit not working correctly,or its the ABS unit not working with the communication with the computer. Right now I am trying to get a recall on this year truck. I believe that it was manufractored wrong and the consumer are stuck with fixing this.

First please call dodge dealer and file aoffical complaont at 1800-424-9153 get a ODI number then call federal trade to report a unsafe vehicle at 1888-327-4236 In order to get a recall it has to warranty a investigation. The more people that call with this problem better chance we have of getting a recall done. You can call me at 570-995-5110 and give your name so that i can use this information to tell them there are a lot of people out with this problem.This should not have to be the consumer problem,the dodge dealer manufactored this year truck wrong, we need to make them pay for this, not only that this year truck is not safe to drive, we actually pulled the fuse out of the anti lock system and driving very little right now till a get answer, and i will get answer. So pleased help do so, we all to to come together as a group. thank you Kathy Trout Run Pa.

Update from Sep 27, 2010: update 750000 miles had a mishap again with the dodge ,truck got was holdiing back smell brakes again ,On a highway,pulled over ,4 ways on got out felf brakes , a little hot, drove a half mile got off highway on ramp , got out again seem ok, when to our garage maybe two miles away scared to death. they said it was ok, but something was holding back on the truck.I got a call from the dealer they said they will try to solve this preblem. That wa on Sept 26 , still waiting will let you knoe w2aht they will do for us

Update from Oct 13, 2010: Please the people who e-mailed I need for u to call me, so that I can get your information and your vehicle ID number I Am with the Attorney General with thisas of Oct 12 2010 I heard from them twice, right now its in the dealer hand where we bought it from waiting a solution, I f that doesnt work, WE will be in court with them, so please call me with your names phones numbers and veh nnumber. For this to work and try to get a recall on this problem u must call the Federal Trade at 1-888-327-4236 and report your problem, if they see fit to warrant a investigation which is what we need they can issue a recall.also file a complaint with dodge get a ODI number and when this problems occurs take it to a dodge dealer document it with paper work. also is anyone ABS light coming when this occurs bc it should, so tell the dodge dealer about the ABS light if it doesnt come on, bc it s not indicating a lock up on this un it and it should SO PLEASE CALL ME AT !-570-995-5110 OR E-MAIL ME AT kathyshoremoore@yahoo.COM, AGAIN I NEED VEHICLE ID NUMBERS TO MAKE THIS WORK THANK YOU BILL AND KATHY MOORE

Update from Oct 23, 2010: On Oct 22 2010 the dealer where we bought it told us to bring the truck down and they will put us in another truck. I a i am not sure what we r going to do I will talk to the attorney general first and see what she tells us to do. I want to file a 3 complaint to dodge chrysler first before we do this to see what they will do to address the problem with these dodge. not sure what will happed


Update from Mar 3, 2011: Still having the problem with our truck .Please to all the e-mails and calls that I get call the FEDERAL TRADE < FILE A COMPLAINT WE NEED A RECALL thank you kathy shore moore 570=995-5110

Update from Mar 4, 2011: Please Post this , I have really good informant for everyone that has a 2002 dodge dakota, They have 78 people who has filed a complaint with dot safety hotline for these vehicles being unsafe due to the front brakes locking up, yes they do have a investigation going on. so thank you to all who have called ,please everyone keep calling, maybe here soon they will issue a recall,please dont give up on your Dodge, i bieleve that some day soon we will hear something on this Again call and file with the Federal trade, Attorney General Dodge Chrslyer THANK YOU KATHY AND BILL MOORE

Update from Jul 19, 2011: Please post this I thank all the people that have taken the time to call me and e-mail me Please dont give up also please write to this agency hopeful they will help also .US Dept of Transport National High way Traffic Safety Admistration Office of Defect (NVS-210) 1200 New Jersey Ave. South east West building Washington DC 20590 Thank you car complaint for posting everything I have written. Today I write to these people enclosed is everyone e-mail and phone numbers who has contacted me On July 18 2011 our brakes locked up again,when they have cool down they released, Our ABS fuse has been disconnected now we think its the abs unit on the front hubs we have to keep replacing them, we dont even get a year out of them, Something is really wrong with the abs unit somewhere on these trucks and it not just the 2002 it goes back I think as far as 2000, the complaints I receive are other years trucks doing the same thing So Dodge you have really messed up and you should be help responable

Update from Oct 1, 2011: Hi A up date Our truck now has 85.000 miles on it , it has locked up 4 more times since I last wrote So I wrote to NHTSA on defected vehicles, Got a letter on Sept 19 2011, remember the BIG TOYOTA recall on the acceleration on the gas pedal, that put them behind . they apologied for the delay in responding, but they say(you can be sure assured that your complaint will be considered along with other complaints for investigations and to identify safety-related defect TRENDS. So if you have written please respone to this letter I have PLease help us get a reecall. To all who have done so THANK YOU Kathy and Bill Moore if you have to call my number is 570-995-5110

Update from Jan 11, 2012: UP DATING OUR 2002 DODGE DAKOTA IT JAN 12 2012 we still have our truck and we still have the same problem, I am still getting calls on the Dodge Brake lock up problem,Just got a call from a Matt he has a 2000 Dodge ,It sad that all these agency will not help all of us in the problem with our trucks. Wont sell it dont want any one else to have the same problem that we have with it, We think it one of the ABS unit anti lock brakes or on hub assembly on these trucks , This goes way back, its not just the 2002 it is many different years. Someone has to give us a recall, because I am back and I am going to start again, Please everybody call the Federal Trade, file with Chrsyler, call your Attorney General dont give up WE NEED A RECALL bRALE LOCK UP TO ALL WHEN YOU FILE ,THEY NEED A TREND WHAT A JOKE TREND ITS ALL THE SAME PROBLEM, SO HELP FEDERAL TRADE AT LEAST INVESTIGATION THIS 570 9955110 CALL US THANK YOU

Update from Mar 30, 2013: please dont call no more we dont have this truck no more and please remove all the comments on auto beef for me thank u

- Kathy M., Trout Run, PA, US

problem #11

Apr 042010

Dakota SXT 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,125 miles

Yep bought a 2002 dodge dakota 4x4. driving 55 mph next thing I know i was thrown into left lane. thank God no traffic. put the brake on and the truck shoots to the right and goes into the ditch. well i have owned many cars and trucks so i knew and smelled what happened the - f---ing brakes locked up so hot that people who pulled over to help thought I was in medical distress buy the way they saw the truck go right and the shoot left into ditch. I will never buy a dodge again. truck has been sitting since. I feel we need to sue dodge before one of us dies or kills someone with this brake deal. Police showed up and made sure I was ok. looked at skid marks and saw the rotors were still red hot and smoking. they were really cool cops so towed it home looked at it. got so hot took bearings with it. all i can say is -can you spell JUNK=DODGE

- Joseph D., Rockford, IL, US

problem #10

Apr 182010

Dakota Sport 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,589 miles

I need a final fix of this. Not replace everything and still have issues.

- Mark J., Eugene, OR, Pacific Islands (US)

problem #9

Nov 152009

Dakota 4x4 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,034 miles

While cruising at 50mph I noticed the transmission downshifting and my speed slowly decreasing as I continued pushing on the gas. At first I thought the transmission was going, but as I slowed I noticed the steering was pulling more and more to the right. Upon pulling to the side of the road it was obvious from the smell and the smoke pouring from the right front wheel that the brake caliper had locked up. After letting the wheel cool a bit I removed the tire and sure enough found it was impossible to turn the rotor. I then used the crow bar to pry the brake pads away from the rotor just enough to get the rotor to turn again. I turned the rotor several times in each direction while my wife pumped the brake - hmmm, no more binding. I reinstalled the wheel and drove 50 miles home with no problems, but using the brakes as little as possible. I haven't yet disassembled the brakes to determine what the problem was, but can't imagine what would cause a brake caliper to suddenly lock up like that.

I also own two Toyota's with over 200K miles on each of them, a Nissan with 150K, and Honda with 120K and I've never had this kind of problem with any of those cars. I purchased the Dodge because the price of the foreign trucks was more than I originally wanted to pay. However, I've discovered (again) the old adage proves true: "You get what you pay for". When I get the Dakota fixed I may now consider trading it in for a Toyota Tacoma, Tundra or Nissan Titan.

- Mike L., Simpsonville, SC, US

problem #8

Jul 202007

Dakota Quad Cab 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

On hot summer days,in stop and go traffic, the front caliper would lock up.This also happened on both sides.I read somewhere that they were making the pistons out of light weight, composite material rather than steel.I believe these were expanding at that high temperature.I changed the calipers(with after market calipers not dealer) and the it never happened again.

- chop, Freehold, NJ, US

problem #7

Sep 152008

Dakota Sport 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

I've had one caliper lock up on me. Fixed the problem so far without replacing any hardware. Flush out the brake fluid thoroughly including removing calipers and master cylinder and flush out with brake clean and replace fluid with SYNTHETIC dot 4. Regular brake fluid should be changed (flushed) every 4 years or so, better off using synthetic. Also don't waste your money on regular rotors (junk), use DRILLED rotor (not slotted). 38,000 miles and still using original pads.

- reddodge630, West Paterson, NJ, US

problem #6

Apr 162009

Dakota 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

The 2002 Dakota left front brake overheated and it was pulling hard to the left. The drive home was only 2 miles, and once I got there, I jacked up the truck and pulled the front wheels off. The left front rotor had overheated and the rubber on that caliper was burnt. The brake pads only have 15,000 miles on them. Before getting all the parts I decided to look on line for similar problems and found a bunch. I know for sure I will change the front pads, (will use ceramic this time, in hopes that it will help) both rotors and left front caliper. I repack the wheel bearings and checked the brake fluid condition and could find nothing.

Any help would be appreciated. I sent an email to the fellow that used ceramic pads asking for an update. This is a safety issue of great importance. Thanks!

- keo97, Milledgeville, GA, US

problem #5

Nov 122008

Dakota Sport Quad Cab 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Just bought this truck four day's ago. Today at a stoplight Smoke started pouring out from the front end. Pulled off looked under the hood... no smoke. Drove again and could feel the slight double pulse in the break pedal like the Anti-lock Breaks were going off. Stopped at light Sh*t Loads of Smoke! Thinking I'm on fire we pulled off, my drivers wheel was so HoTT you could not hold you hand to it. The drivers Caliper was locked up, only the Drivers side.

- Bill H., North Olmsted, OH, US

problem #4

Sep 032008

Dakota Sport 3.9L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The LF brake locked up in traffic about four time starting at ~50K miles. Each time the temperature was over 80F and I was in stop-and-go traffic. I replaced the caliper and rotor and L and R pads. I'm up to ~76K miles now, and the RF locked in September at the start of a 160 mile trip. I pulled to the side, waited about ten minutes, then drove on the berm of Interstate-40 until I was sure the brake was unlocked. Traffic had subsided by then and I drove at 75mph on down to the beach. The problem was gone for the weekend and hasn't reoccurred. I plan to replace the RF caliper and L and R pads with ceramics (thanks for the tip), but (thanks to another of your reader's comment), I'm starting to think it might be deterioration of the flexible part of the brake lines. I'll replace those too. Try babying the brakes in hot weather, in traffic (the manual tranny helps) . From my experience, I'll be amazed if someone reports this type of problem in the absence of hot weather and heavy stop and go traffic. (I'll bet I don't have to replace the Rside caliper and rotor until the beginning on next Summer.) Other than this, my Dakota's been great since I drove it off the dealer's lot in 2002. Good luck everyone!

- rcnode, Cary, NC, US

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